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Empowering Autistic Students: 7 Strategies for Teachers

Each year during World Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd), advocates--and even corporate buildings--wear blue as they pledge to shine a light on autism. Those with available means also donate monetarily. To say that autism is an important cause would be an understatement. Today, more than 3.5 million Americans exhibit some type of autistic disorder. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that autism impacts one in sixty-eight births. Based on these statistics, it's a given that Pre-K and elementary school teachers will encounter students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in their classrooms. That said, children exhibiting signs of ASD may go undiagnosed, resulting in confusion for both teacher and student. Even if teachers know a student has ASD, they may not know the best learning and behavioral strategies for that student. In short, teachers need empowerment strategies--both for themselves and for their ASD students.
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Use Story Maps for Better Reading Comprehension

Today, anyone who wants to read an article or a book can do so quickly. Most can search for reading materials at the click of a mouse or on library/classroom shelves. But even engaged readers sometimes face information overload. For example, young or beginning readers may have trouble remembering the important elements of a story. If you're a teacher, you understand this dilemma and likely use multiple resources to help your students understand what they read. A story map is just one resource that helps young learners with reading comprehension.
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Meet Our 2016 Limerick Contest Winners

Imagine Learning has held an annual limerick contest for quite a few years now--and each year we're amazed by your creativity.Congratulations, 2016 contestants! You made it hard to choose our favorites. But that's a good problem to have.In the end, our judges voted on the most creative uses of our "school and learning" theme.So, with no further ado ... DRUMROLL ... we announce our 2016 winners: 
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Content Spotlight: Finding Evidence

As we've mentioned in previous blog posts, our Fall 2015 content update introduced a variety of new language and literacy activities for children. We'll discuss two more of them below. Today's content spotlight focuses on the Finding Evidence activity suite, which introduces new literacy skills that cover even more state standards. These activities teach upper-grade elementary students what evidence is and and how to find appropriate evidence to support the author's claim. The Finding Evidence suite consists of two separate activities, What's Your Evidence and Evidence Needed. Here's how each activity works:
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Help Kids 'Spring Forward' to Daylight Savings

What happens to your classroom during the week after Daylight Savings? If you envision a room full of cranky, tired kids (and teacher), you're not alone. It's a fact: most educators dread the calendar shift to Daylight Savings each spring. After all, moving the clock ahead means one less hour of sleep, and that fact alone can spell trouble for teachers and students alike. Here's the lowdown: America and many other countries shift to Daylight Savings Time every spring (except for those lucky people in Arizona). 'Spring forward,' remember? Ideally, all of us should get to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each night prior to the time switch. But if this advice comes too late, just follow a few timely tips after the clock moves forward:
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Let's Play Vocabulary Bingo!

Looking for a supplemental vocabulary activity for young learners? We've got just the thing: vocabulary bingo. At Imagine Learning, we incorporate fun into every part of our language and literacy program. The reason is simple: we know that fun and learning go together. To help educators, we also offer multiple offline teacher resources within Imagine Language & Literacy. Each time teachers enter the Imagine Learning portal (Imagine Manager in older versions), they can choose offline activities like worksheets, coloring pages, and other printables. Vocabulary bingo is just one example of a fun, engaging activity that teachers can print for their class.
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A Limerick Is a Rhyme Just in Time for St. Patty's

Nick, the Limerick Maker   Hark, ye lasses and lads, it's that time of year when leprechauns plan merry mischief in the green fields and woods. It's also time for Imagine Learning's annual limerick contest. Here's one to get you started: There once was a young lad named Nick Who loved to perform a neat trick: He crafted a rhyme— So fine; so sublime, And called it his best limerick. Can you beat Nick at his rhyming game? We're betting you can. And you'll learn all about rhyming in the bargain! So, what should your subject be?
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The Importance of Multicultural Equity in Education

A guest post by Colleen Chung Teaching Coordinator for ELL,Title 1, & 21st Century Grant - Alvah Scott Elementary School (Aiea, HI) Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning. Designed by Freepik   My husband is Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese, while I am third-generation Irish. As a diverse couple, we decided that when we had children, we would raise them here in Hawaii, the state of Aloha. Interestingly, our family's multicultural trends don't stop there. My daughter just married a man from Norway and we expect their children to speak both Norwegian and English. Their wedding represented families from four continents. Diversity is the American way! It not only helps us learn from each other, but it also inspires greatness, as you will see from the following example.
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Dr. Seuss Says: Read Across America!

Did you know that March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday? It's true. And, what better way to celebrate than to 'Read Across America'? Chances are good that your library or school already has big plans. But if they don't, you can still celebrate. Here's how: 1. Dress like your favorite Dr. Seuss character Every birthday celebration is more fun when you get to dress up. Most kids know and love The Cat in the Hat, and it's not hard to create some red/white striped hats from paper and tape. Ditto for making some grey elephant ears for those who want to look like Horton. And everyone will giggle when they wear a bushy Lorax mustache!
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Inside Black History: 10 African American Inventors to Remember

The light of Innovation It's February 18, 2016, and Black History Month is more than halfway past. Luckily, black history is really American history, which means it can be celebrated any time during the year. Chances are, most readers are familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil-Rights-Era figures such as Rosa Parks or Malcolm X. But how much do you know about some of our most famous African American inventors? Browse the following list on your own or in the classroom and you'll soon realize how much we owe to these black innovators--some historical, some modern.
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